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Cost to install exterior lights
by
Checkatrade

Exterior lighting can improve how you enjoy your property; providing atmospheric light for enjoying evenings, or intense light that provides security and protection.

The total cost to install lighting will depend on several factors, including the type of light fixture you choose, the number of lighting elements and their location. In this detailed guide, we discuss the average cost to install exterior lights, including soffit lights.

Garden lighting costUnitPrice range (low)Price range (high)Average cost
Outdoor lighting – low voltageNumber£120£200£165
10 LED light clusters in existing socketItem (+65 metres of cable)£350£450£400
Outdoor 230V fittingNumber£100£150£125
Outdoor security lighting Number£125£175£150
Install 1 outdoor 30-watt security lightNumber£150£200£175

Average cost to install a light fixture

The average cost to install a low-voltage exterior light is £165.

Garden lighting costs can be affected by a range of factors, such as the number of light fitting you want to be installed, their location and the price of the fixings.

The costs within this guide are average costs to install exterior lights. Your total outdoor garden light installation costs may be higher or lower.

Our prices in this guide were provided by the online estimators at My Build Estimate – a professional estimating company monitored by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

What are the different types of exterior lighting?

The type of external lighting you choose should be dictated by the area you want to light, and the purpose of your lighting.

External lighting options include:

  • Wall lights – fixed to a wall, they can improve the atmosphere of an outdoor garden.
  • Post lights – attached to the floor, post lights are illuminated bollards used for wayfinding.
  • Decking lights (often called soffit lights) – fitted into your decking, these lights are great for wayfinding, garden parties and events.
  • Security lights – motion-activated security lights will illuminate an area if they detect movement.

What is Extra Low Voltage power?

Most garden light systems use Extra Low Voltage (ELV) power. In the majority of systems, power is taken from the nearest existing power source in the house, usually the kitchen. However, you can have an exterior 230v 3-pin socket fitted if you choose to.

The costs in this guide do not include linking lights to the consumer unit, which can be more expensive depending on the location of the unit.

ELV power is preferred because it’s safe and secure and doesn’t need to be reported to building control. The garden lights installation costs in this guide refer to ELVs.

What is involved in installing garden lights?

Garden lighting cost - Decking lights

These are some of the steps you will follow in planning and installing your garden lights.

Identifying light locations

Before deciding, consider the best place(s) to locate your lights in the garden. Think about how you use the space and how lights can improve your enjoyment of it.

Placing and connecting cabling to supply power to the lights

Garden lights will require power, usually delivered through power cables. Plan out the route of cabling around any obstacles.

Electrical work

You’ll need to hook up the lights to the mains. The cost to install a new light fixture may also include fitting a 230v 3-pin external socket.

Fitting & testing

Lights will be fitted, connected and tested to ensure they work properly.

Factors affecting the cost to install exterior lights

The cost to install lighting in your garden will depend upon certain factors, such as:

  • Type of fixtures – the more expensive the fixture, the higher the cost.
  • Number of lighting elements – the more fixtures that you have, the higher the garden light installation costs.
  • Distance from the property – external lights need cabling for power and so the further from the property, the longer – and more expensive – the cabling required.
  • Making good – You may need to allow an additional sum for making good for any chases or holes in walls and ceilings, or for trunking and containment if the light is surface-mounted
  • Fixings – the location of the lights can affect the total cost to install a new light fixture.
  • Brightness – brighter and more powerful lights are more expensive than low-output models, which can increase purchase and installation costs.
  • Location – garden light installation costs can vary across the UK, with those in cities such as London paying more than those in other areas, for example.
  • Soffit lighting installation – soffit lighting installation costs will differ, depending on the location, materials used and access.

Outdoor lighting installation costs

The average cost to install a single low voltage wall light is £165.

This price covers the labour to install the light and to safely connect the light to the mains power supply.

LED lights arranged throughout the garden are a popular and attractive alternative to fixed wall lights. The average cost to install 10 LED light clusters plugged into an existing socket and provide 65 metres of cable is £400.

Soffit lighting installation costs

Soffit lights are garden lights that are fitted to the underside of decking, roofs or porches. They’re usually arranged in patterns and together provide a pleasant and atmospheric light.

The average cost to install a series of soffit lights is £400. This includes cabling, installation and testing.

Outdoor security lighting installation costs

Cost to install exterior security lighting

The average cost to install an outdoor security light is £150. More powerful 30-watt versions may cost £175 to install.

Outdoor security lighting installation costs can vary according to the cost of the fitting and the distance from your property. Be prepared to pay more for brighter lights and those with additional features, such as ‘intelligent’ motion detection that won’t be switched on by animals, for example.

Additional outdoor lighting costs

Here are some additional garden light installation costs that you should budget for.

  • The prices are based on the fitting of a light switch, or local sensor. More advanced lighting systems with digital controls can be more expensive.
  • If you are drilling through walls, budget for the cost to make good any damaged plaster or paintwork.
  • If your light is surface mounts, garden light installation costs may be higher as you may need to pay for trunking and containment.
  • If you need to run armoured cables (to wall mounted lights on walls on other properties), then expect to pay more.
  • If you need to fit an external 230v socket, expect to pay £125.

Should I install my exterior lights myself?

Fitting external wall lights is a job for a qualified, professional electrician. External lights may be low-voltage, but any time you are working with live current, you must be careful.

If you are looking for a cost to install exterior lights, you’ll find the UK’s largest choice of trusted tradespeople at Checkatrade.

External lights fitting takeaways

  • The average cost to install an external garden light is £165.
  • The total cost you will pay to install a garden light will be affected by a range of factors, such as the number of lights, their location and fittings.
  • All lights in this guide are Extra Low Voltage. Higher voltage lights may require permission before being fitted.
  • The average cost to install a security light is £150.
  • Installing garden lights is a job for a professional, qualified electrician. Don’t attempt it unless you know what you’re doing.

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